Stop Windows From Automatically Updating Your Hardware Drivers

Automatic updates sound like a great idea in theory, but having a newer driver install itself behind your back, cause a problem and force you to troubleshoot for a few hours is no fun at all. Fortunately in Windows, it's possible to tell the operating system to apply platform patches only and leave the driver updates to you.

This tweak applies to all recent versions of Windows — 7, 8 and 10 — and allows you to control exactly how Windows deals with new drivers it finds via Windows Update. As gHacks' Martin Brinkmann explains, it's as easy as bringing up the "System" window by right-clicking on the Computer desktop icon and selecting "Properties", navigating to "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System" (Windows 7) or typing sysdm.cpl into the Start Menu text box.

Once opened, click "Advanced system settings" on the left, go to the "Hardware" tab and press the "Device Installation Settings" button. You'll then see the configuration dialog (the window that appears on the far right in the lead image of this post).

Now you can just pick the option that suits your needs — in my case, I selected "Never install driver software from Windows Update."

Of course, you're free to go the other way entirely and leave driver updates to Windows, but when your printer suddenly stops working, don't say I didn't warn you!*

*60 per cent of the time, it works every time.

How to disable driver updates from Windows Update [gHacks]


    Hopefully this will still work in the release build of Windows 10 and beyond, as being forced to download device drivers you don't want can make for a lot of headaches if those drivers have problems, WHQL or not.

    Windows 10 really needs even more options on what updates it will download and install automatically, if consumers don't have a choice to disable updates completely. Windows 7 and 8 still want to download HUGE updates for programs that aren't even on the computer. Big problems if you are running a small system with a 16-32GB SSD and Windows 10 wants to fill it with unnecessary "updates".

    Something allowing only critical updates that address security and vulnerability updates would be good, but MS apparently wants near-total control over Windows 10.

    It's going to get ugly when small hard drives start filling up and even systems with 500GB-1TB drives start getting bloated with update downloads.

    Sadly, this does not work on Windows 10. I'm still getting the Realtek Audio Driver. After uninstalling manually, Windows doesn't re-install but gives you an annoying notification every time you turn your computer on that it can't install updates.

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